A POWYS youngster who inspired his community to raise more than £30,000 for Guide Dogs has been honoured with a top award.

Mason Davies, 12, was named Inspirational Young Person of the Year at the Guide Dogs People Awards in Atherton, Greater Manchester, on Wednesday, November 8, hosted by BBC presenters Sally Nugent and John Kay.

Mason, who lives on the family farm just outside Howey, has a severe sight impairment due to retinal dystrophy and in 2021 was warned he could lose all his vision within a year.

He applied for and received an iPad through the Guide Dogs ‘Tech For All’ scheme, which allows the families of children with a vision impairment to access the technology they need completely free of charge.


This made him determined to help others with sight loss. He also wanted to raise awareness of Guide Dogs in a community that is rural and remote.

Ruth Evans, community fundraising development manager for Guide Dogs Cymru, said: “Mason is a bundle of fundraising energy who inspired a whole community to raise money for Guide Dogs.

“He set himself an initial target of £500 but quickly exceeded that and went on to raise more than £30,000 within months, making him one of our star performers. He truly deserves this award.”

Mason, a pupil at Ysgol Calon Cymru’s Builth Wells campus, began by planning and tackling a 13-mile sponsored ‘Trig Trail’ which took place in August 2022 over challenging Powys terrain. He managed to get over 100 local well-wishers to join him on the walk, which saw the group ascend three trig points between Llandrindod and Builth.

County Times:  Mason with his award from Builth Wells Town Council in recognition of his great and valuable service to the community. Mason with his award from Builth Wells Town Council in recognition of his great and valuable service to the community. (Image: Builth Wells Town Council)

Thanks to his confidence and cheeky personality, he also enlisted the support of some well-known celebrities, such as chart-topping group The Wurzels and BBC TV and radio personality Wynne Evans. This saw his incredible efforts attract media attention, and both recorded special messages of congratulations to be played at the awards ceremony.

Not content with establishing himself as one of Guide Dogs’ superstar fundraisers, Mason was determined to do even more.

He arranged a music event last December at the Strand Hall in Builth, complete with an auction and raffle, and placed more than 20 dog-shaped collecting boxes in the local area. His family say they received daily phone calls from businesses and organisations wanting to donate to Mason’s fundraising.

His efforts also led to the creation of the inaugural Builth Wells Tractor Run in August this year, which raised nearly £700 and looks set to become an annual event.

His infectious attitude in the face of adversity has also seen him presented with an award from Builth Wells Town Council in recognition of his great and valuable service to the community.

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Proud mum Nicola said: “Mason always starts the day with a smile and ends the day with a smile.

“He doesn’t like being different and is just like any other kid. He loves paddleboarding and is quite sharp at maths. The Trig Trail was quite a challenge.”

Mason makes good use of his iPad from Guide Dogs at school. He loves animals and six weeks ago he was given his very own golden retriever puppy, which he has named Katie.

Dad Gareth added: “She has boundless energy, and we’ve lost every other shoe in the house, but she’s good for Mason and good for the family. He loves to take her out walking.”

Mason believes he may be a candidate for a guide dog of his own in the future. In the meantime, he has been invited to name three guide dog puppies as a thank you for the money he has raised.

He has chosen the names Wynne (after Wynne Evans), Meg and Deano, and will be able to follow their progress through training.